Chief Operating Officer at C6 Intelligence Group
Question 1: Who is Emma Mills?
EM: Emma Mills is the COO of C6 Intelligence an Acuris company, C6 provide solutions to help organisations prevent money laundering, terrorist financing and bribery & corruption. Uniquely we have access to criminal web sites on the dark web where we track the trading of stolen identities that we use to help our clients prevent identity fraud being committed within their businesses.
Question 2. What do you enjoy most about your job and what do you find most difficult?
EM:I love working in a disruptive start-up environment that is fast moving, exciting and provides broad range of responsibilities. I have the opportunity every day to work closes with our external clients helping them overcome their challenges, whilst also working internally with our talented team to ensure that we are best placed to meet those challenges.
I strongly believe that our people are our greatest asset and when leading a large team it’s challenging to ensure that you connect with them to ensure they feel engaged and understand how their role contributes to the overall organisational goals. Making the best use of limited time and ensuring that engagement is a constant but rewarding challenge.
Question 3. As a female (young) leader or a woman working in the financial sector, what has been the most significant barrier in your career so far?
EM:Barriers are typically self-imposed, I think the biggest challenge we face is fear of failure. Being confident to be bold and know that you will survive even if things don’t always succeed is key it is also imperative to understand that failure indeed can be the best way for us to learn and evolve.
Question 4. What is the best piece of advice given to you? Who gave you that advice?
EM:To always deal with what’s in front of you in priority order and not worry too far ahead as it can be overwhelming. A very good friend of mine Colin Miller.
Question 5. Who inspired/inspires (role model) you and why?
EM:Margret Thatcher, she was Prime Minister when I was at school. Such a formidable force in every respect.
Question 6. When you began your career (many) years ago, did you ever imagine that you would be a (young) leader in a male-dominated profession?
EM:I had no idea what I would do or where I would go. I have been fortunate to have been given a range of great opportunities throughout my career that I have been able to capitalise on through hard work and confidence. The hard work comes from amazing parents as role models and confidence comes through a great network of friends, family and business contacts.
Question 7. What do you think is the most significant barrier to female leadership especially in the financial sector?
EM:Ourselves !! being female can be a tremendous advantage in a lot of careers. Men and Women are different they do approach challenges and activities in different ways which is a good thing. Women should continue to focus on positioning ourselves towards our strengths and work collaboratively to the collective good of the organisations we lead. All too often we focus on the negatives not the positive.
Question 8. What advice would you give to the next generation of female leaders in financial sector? And what do you think will be the biggest challenge for the generation of women behind you?
EM:Have goals, work towards doing something that you genuinely enjoy doing. Think of yourself and others as equals and don’t wait for opportunities to come to you, head out and get them.
Question 9.Mentorship? What is your opinion about it? Is it necessary? Does it make a difference? Did you have a mentor when you started your career? Do you think it would have made a difference if you did?
EM: Having a mentor or mentors over the course of your career is very important, they can take different forms. Having someone who can take a step back from your business situation and help you be thoughtful about your situation and the possible directions you might take is invaluable. I have been fortunate to have had both formal and informal mentors throughout my career.
Question 10. When it comes to gender pay gap, diversity and inclusion in financial sector: are we progressing, moving backwards or stagnated? Why?
EM:We are moving forward !! Schroders published a report in the Financial Times (MARCH 25, 2017 by: Madison Marriage) that showed that men and women in comparable roles are paid fairly similarly. The challenge is in getting more women in to senior roles, I personally feel that we lose talented women from our industry due to some companies failing to offer flexible working conditions and support for women who choose to have a family which tends to co-inside with a period of time of career maturity where they would be positioned well for progression.
Question 11. What is some of the advice you can share with (young) women entering a male-dominated profession such as tech or finance?
EM:Pick the right companies to work for !! look for those that operate a system of meritocracy that reward individuals for their contribution through remuneration, progression and consideration for work life balance.
Question 12. If you could do it all again, what would you do differently?
EM:Nothing !! I have had a thoroughly enjoyed job I have ever done. The good, the bad and the ugly.